A bill that would require health insurance companies to cover diagnosis and treatment for autism is poised for passage next week by two Senate committees, a move intended to help youngsters get vital early therapy.
"We think it's time to take action and make significant inroads on autism," Sen. Josh Green, Health Committee chairman, said Wednesday after conferring with Sen. Rosalyn Baker, chairwoman of the Consumer Protection Committee, at a joint hearing. "We do intend to move the bill forward."
A vote on Senate Bill 2631 is set for Tuesday during a joint meeting of the Health and Consumer Protection committees.
If the bill is ultimately passed and signed into law, Hawaii would join a growing number of states that are requiring private insurers to cover treatment for autism. At least 29 states have passed such legislation, most in the past five years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.Autism Speaks supports the legislation.